The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On COVID-19 On Merseyside

Merseyside is in trouble with the covids.

These are the number of lab confirmed cases per 100,000 population for local authorities in the area, as of the 1st October 2020.

  • Halton – 1108.1
  • Knowsley – 1388
  • Liverpool – 1244.5
  • Sefton – 1037.6
  • St. Helens – 1230.4
  • Wirral – 1185.5

My London Borough of Hackney, which is demographically, a bit like poorer parts of Liverpool, has a rate of 524.3.

But the gold standard to my mind is Cambridge, which has a rate of only 380.6.

Oxford, which is a very similar city to Cambridge has a much higher rate of 799.5,

Why Is Cambridge Doing So Well?

I was diagnosed as a coeliac at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, twenty-three years ago.

According to my consultant in the City at the time, Cambridge has a VERY high level of diagnosed coeliacs.

He told me, that he had more coeliac  patients, than any other gastroenterologist in the UK.

So why is the number of coeliacs so high in Cambridge?

I feel it is because Cambridge had a Whack-a-Coeliac policy in the 1990s, where they attempted to diagnose as many coeliacs as they could find.

I was certainly diagnosed at that time and judging by the speed they did the initial diagnosis, I suspect, they were using one of the first genetic tests. They were also doing endoscopies without anaesthetic to increase throughput!

Coeliacs, Cancer And The Covids

Diagnosed coeliacs on a gluten-free diet have a strong immune system, which helps protect them from cancer, as has been shown by Joe West at Nottingham University.

I should also add, that none of my coeliac acquaintances have had a severe dose of the covids.

So does our stronger immune systems give us protection from the covids?

This could explain, why an area like Cambridge has a lower level of the covids than Oxford.

Why Is Merseyside In Trouble?

The Irish, because of historic famine, have higher levels of coeliac disease.

Comedians from the City have joked about Liverpool being the capital of Ireland for decades.

Could it be that there is a high percentage of undiagnosed coeliacs on Merseyside?

If this is true, could these undiagnosed coeliacs, with poorer immune systems, be easy pickings for the covids?


These actions should be taken.

  • Merseyside needs a Whack-a-Coeliac policy, if it doesn’t have one! It would certainly, improve cancer rates!
  • Every in-patient with the covids, should be given a quick blood test for coeliac disease.
  • Other research needs to be done to find out the any link between coeliac disease and the covids!

Not for nothing is coeliac disease regularly called the Many-Headed Hydra by some doctors and researchers.




October 1, 2020 - Posted by | Health | , , , , , ,


  1. I know a little about those areas in Merseyside. I was born and brought up in St Helens, and I own tenanted properties there. Much of the area is narrow streets of terraced housing – not big terraces, mostly 2 bed ones. And narrow pavements, and backyards rather than garden, with an alleyway at the bottom of the years, shared with the properties on the next street along. Children often play in the alleyways on bikes, scooters, roller blades, skateboards etc. And from what I gather people in the town generally are not socially distancing and not much wearing masks. The town centre is small, most shops are in one street, and there is a undercover mall. I think it is more to do with the demographic and the housing arrangements than immunity.

    Knowsley may have changed since I last visited, but it had a lot of tower blocks – again, steps, stairwells, lifts etc where social distancing is impossible. Knowsley used to be a one huge estate of social housing, with a poor reputation. It has been revamped a bit I gather. And last I heard it was called Cantril Farm. But that might have changed again.

    As I said, I think problems with social distancing might have a lot to do with social distancing being more difficult from the moment someone steps foot outside their door. The doors are not 2 metres apart in many cases. They certainly aren’t on the streets where my properties are.

    Testing people for coeliac disease is a good idea. Any test for it is good – screening of primary school children would be good if it didnt involved blood tests or or cameras. Perhaps it should be added to the 4 year old pre-school health check, when a parent would be with the child for the blood test.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | October 1, 2020 | Reply

  2. St. Helens sounds like parts of Hackney. Think, Albert Square in East Enders, which is based on a square, about a mile from where I live.

    One GP told me, he can usually diagnose a child from their problems and talking to the parents. The blood test then confirms it! He felt very few cases should need an endoscopy!

    Comment by AnonW | October 1, 2020 | Reply

  3. Are these 14 day rates?

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | October 1, 2020 | Reply

  4. They’re the ones given on the official web site. I think they’re totals per 100,000 people.

    Comment by AnonW | October 1, 2020 | Reply

  5. Is this 14 day rates?

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | October 1, 2020 | Reply

  6. They are totals!

    Comment by AnonW | October 1, 2020 | Reply

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